Flaming Tortillas


Caldo tlalpeño

Posted By Melissa Pitts

November 8, 2011 at 2:15pm MST

This is one of my favorite soups any time of the year. It’s comfort food at it’s best and super easy to make. For those who may not know, caldo tlalpeño is a sort of chicken soup in Latin America. It has hearty pieces of chicken, garbanzo beans, and chunks of delicious vegetables. The toppings are just as important than the actual soup! Typically you’ll have cubed cheese, smokey chipotle in adobo sauce, avocado, lime, and cilantro (and in my house a touch of white rice). All these flavors blend together to make a heavenly, homey soup with a kick of spice. Buen provecho!

Yields 4-6 servings


For the broth and chicken: (see note)

6 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes (preferred Maggi or Knorr)
½ onion, very roughly chopped
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
20 grinds of fresh black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on

For the rest of the soup:

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 zucchini, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

For the toppings:
1 avocado, cubed
4 oz cubed cheese such as monterey jack
1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
¼ cup chopped cilantro
4 limes, sliced in wedges
1 cup cooked white rice

For the broth and chicken:
Add all the ingredients for the broth and chicken in a large pot. Bring to boil, then bring heat down to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches 165 degrees F on a thermometer. Remove the chicken and let cool. Strain the broth and discard the solids.

For the rest of the soup:
In another pot (I use a dutch oven). Over medium heat, add the oil. Then, add the onion and zucchini. Let cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and let the soup come to a boil. Then bring to a simmer.

While the soup is simmering with the vegetables. Remove the skin from the chicken and shred the meat. Add the meat to the simmering soup. Add the garbanzo beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.

Top the soup with any of the prepared toppings you choose!

(Note: You can also just simmer the chicken in 6 cups chicken broth or stock instead of water, but I prefer the taste of the bouillon cubes with the spices--as that’s just how I’ve always tasted it!)